It’s all about the boys at the Edinburgh King’s family show this year, with the return of the dream team of Allan Stewart as the dame (Mother Goose), Andy Gray as the panto pal (her butler “Elvis” McSporran), and Grant Stott as the baddie (Demon Vanity).
In Paul Elliot and Stewart’s script there is plenty of space for corpsing, ad-libbed cackles and the retreading of the trio’s tried-and-tested jokes and routines. Stewart shows his supremacy as a vocal impressionist and Gray impresses with his superb timing.
There’s less space for the panto staples, however, leaving Stott somewhat marooned without a single “Oh yes you are!” response sequence. There are plenty of local references - and very well worked-in they are too, with a pair of Edinburgh Zoo pandas and a giant mock-up of an Edinburgh tram among the highlights. Significantly, though, there are even more references to last year’s show.
Elsewhere, this is a strong cast. Hannah Robertson is on great song as Jill, as is James Hume as love interest Torben. Katy Heavens is both endearing and tooth-gratingly irritating as upmarket Fairy McSquirrell-Smythe. The seven-strong ensemble are in good voice and put in well-timed and thrilling dance turns.
Big city panto with all the gizmos, but lacking a truly human heart.